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Atom Egoyan
Ryan Reynolds, Mireille Enos, Rosario Dawson, Scott Speedman, Kevin Durand, Bruce Greenwood
Writing Credits:
Atom Egoyan and David Fraser

When Hope Is All You Have.

Eight years after the disappearance of Cassandra, some disturbing incidents seem to indicate that she's still alive. Police, parents and Cassandra herself, will try to unravel the mystery of her disappearance. MPAA:
Rated R

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 112 min.
Price: $24.99
Release Date: 3/3/2015

• Audio Commentary with Director/Co-Writer Atom Egoyan
• “Captive Thoughts” Featurette
• Deleted Scenes and Alternate Ending
• Previews


Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


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The Captive (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 25, 2015)

Better known for comedies and action flicks, Ryan Reynolds goes for something more dramatic via 2014’s The Captive. Cassandra Lane (Peyton Kennedy) went missing at the age of nine, and eight years later, her parents Matthew (Reynolds) and Tina (Mireille Enos) continue to feel the pain from that loss. Tina blames Matt and they split up over their daughter’s disappearance.

Matters intensify when all involved – including Detectives Nicole Dunlop (Rosario Dawson) and Jeffrey Cornwall (Scott Speedman) - learn that now-17-year-old Cassandra (Alexia Fast) remains alive in the long-term custody of a pedophile who used her over the past eight years. From there we follow efforts to deal with her situation.

Here’s what you won’t find from Captive: a lot of mystery. Sure, we don’t know the specifics of how the movie will end, but a lot of the usual plot points become revealed early. For instance, we know the identity of Cassandra’s abductor as well as her continued survival/status almost from the start. Most movies would reveal those tidbits along the way and keep us in suspense, but Captive avoids that trend.

This seems like an odd choice, but it works – for a while, at least. During its first act, Captive promises to be a more character-based thriller, as it seems to focus on the aftermath of the child’s disappearance more than the nuts and bolts of the investigation and related elements.

However, those traits fade as the movie progresses, and Captive turns more traditional, though it maintains some unusual tendencies. In particular, co-writer/director Atom Egoyan plays fast and loose with chronology – a bit too fast and loose, actually. Most of the time-related shifts work okay, but a few become confusing, and unnecessarily so, as these jumps don’t benefit the story. Egoyan’s chronological choices often feel like self-conscious choices that exist to be clever more than to tell the tale.

I mind those decisions less than I dislike the movie’s general lack of focus. As mentioned, Captive starts like a look at the day-to-day repercussions of an abduction, but it becomes more scattered as it goes.

This means the movie lacks identity. It flits from the family to the cops to the pedophile with so little rhyme or reason that the narrative goes off the rails. Each of those elements comes with potential, but the disjointed manner in which Captive tells them makes the end result a mess.

For the most part, the actors do well, though Kevin Durand’s villain seems over the top. We’re supposed to see him as a well-integrated part of society – the sidekick to a local business bigwig, in fact – but Durand’s Mika seems like a creep from minute one. A little more subtlety would’ve gone a long way.

Durand isn’t the movie’s main weakness, though, as its lack of focus becomes the most obvious flaw. The Captive comes with good moments but it unravels and becomes less satisfying as it goes.

The Blu-ray Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B-/ Bonus C+

The Captive appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.40:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. Overall, the image looked fine.

Sharpness came across well. A smidgen of softness occasionally crept into a few wider shots, but those created no lasting concerns. Instead, we got good clarity and accuracy. Shimmering and jaggies remained absent, and I noticed no edge haloes. Print flaws also failed to mar the presentation.

In terms of colors, Captive veered toward a chilly palette, with an emphasis on ambers. Within the production design, the hues seemed appropriate. Blacks looked dark and tight, and shadows showed good delineation. This became a positive transfer.

As for the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack, it seemed low-key but appropriate for an introverted character drama. This meant a soundscape with limited ambition. Dialogue and music dominated the mix, so don’t expect a lot from effects. Cars filled outdoor scenes and they moved around the room in an acceptable manner, but not much else added zing. That was fine, as the story didn’t demand sonic fireworks.

Audio quality was good. Speech seemed concise and distinctive, without edginess or other issues. Music sounded lush and full, while effects were accurate and clear. Though not memorable, the soundtrack fit the movie.

As we shift to extras, we launch with an audio commentary from director/co-writer Atom Egoyan. He covers real-life influences, story/character areas, themes, editing and visual motifs, cast and performances, interpretation, music and related areas.

If you expect a nuts and bolts discussion from Egoyan, you won’t find it, as he prefers to stick with story areas much of the time. While it might be nice to know a little more about the movie’s actual creation, Egoyan still turns out a good chat, as he gives us a nicely introspective look at the film. Lots of insights come along for the ride in this engaging piece.

A featurette called Captive Thoughts runs eight minutes, 49 seconds and includes comments from Egoyan, and actors Mireille Enos, Ryan Reynolds, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Durand, and Scott Speedman. The piece covers story/character areas, research and Egoyan’s impact on the production. Not a lot of substance emerges in this fairly bland discussion.

Six Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 13 minutes, 56 seconds. We also get an Alternate Ending (1:51). The latter finishes the movie on a darker note; I probably prefer it to the “real” finale.

As for the other sequences, they tend to add some minor character moments. A couple of minor plot points appear – mainly related to the villain – but these don’t give us much that seems important.

The disc opens with ads for Revenge of the Green Dragons, Son of a Gun, A Most Violent Year, Wild Card, Tusk and Vice. No trailer for The Captive shows up here.

For a while, The Captive manages to deliver an intriguing twist on an abduction tale. Unfortunately, it loses steam and focus as it goes, so it turns into a moderately dissatisfying mess along the way. The Blu-ray brings us good picture and audio as well as supplements highlighted by an insightful commentary. I don’t think Captive is a bad film, but it has too many issues to be a true success.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.3125 Stars Number of Votes: 16
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